By paying ransoms, governments in the Mideast and Europe have become some of the biggest financiers of terror groups. and Britain are in the thankless position of putting their own citizens at a disadvantage.
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But prosecution in those types of cases is rare and enforced haphazardly. government threatened to prosecute a family for paying a ransom, said Clinton Van Zandt, the FBI former chief hostage negotiator.
case highlights wrenching debate over whether governments should pay ransom for hostages
Rather than pay ransoms, the United States often tries to rescue its hostages with covert military teams trained to raid extremist camps. intelligence, for example.
Qatar typically refuses to comment on the issue of ransoms, and Spain has neither confirmed nor denied that it pays terrorists for hostages release. did just that earlier this year in securing the release of American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from the Taliban. detention centre at Guantanamo Bay including some whom critics called among the most hardened fighters of the war against terror.
Foley captors, the Islamic State militants, had for months demanded $132.5 million (100 million euros) from his parents and political concessions from Washington. They got neither, and the 40 year old freelance journalist from New Hampshire was savagely beheaded within the last week inside Syria, where he had been held since his disappearance in November 2012.
and British refusal to negotiate with terrorists, and Europe and the Persian Gulf increasing willingness to pay ransoms in a desperate attempt to free citizens. The dilemma: How to save the lives of captives without financing terror groups and encouraging more kidnappings.
State militants also demanded $132.5 million for two other American hostages they are holding in Syria, a person close to the situation said late Thursday. airstrikes, as of Thursday, that have been launched against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq since Aug. 8. But the ransom demands began late last year, even before the Islamic State one of the world most financially thriving extremist groups had begun its brutal march across much of western and northern Iraq.
He said government paid ransoms help create growing cottage industry in kidnap ransoms. may get that person back that time, but what you done is put a price tag on the head of every American overseas, he said. you advertised that we pay to get Americans back. say ransoms paid or arranged by western European governments and the Gulf state of Qatar have provided the bulk of financial support for violent groups. and Britain as well as some north African states to push a campaign discouraging ransom payments. Security Council resolution appealing to governments not to pay ransom to terror groups. and British pressure. and British officials say it not clear to what extent allied governments are abiding by those pledges.
The USA Patriot Act prohibits any payment or assistance to terror groups that could boost their support. The families of three Americans held by a rebel group in Colombia for five years, for example, were repeatedly advised against sending even medication and sneakers to the hostages to avoid potentially breaking the law.
France and Qatar are most often identified as governments that frequently pay or arrange ransoms usually to free European nationals. But France has denied doing so, as have Germany, Italy and the Nordic counties of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. All are accused by security experts, diplomats and others of having paid ransoms in some cases.
The Treasury Department has estimated at least $140 million worth of ransoms have been paid to al Qaida and other terror groups in Africa and the Mideast since 2004.
do not make concessions to terrorists, Harf told reporters. do not pay ransoms. United States government believes very strongly that paying ransom to terrorists gives them a tool in the form of financing that helps them propagate what they doing, she said. so we believe very strongly that we don do that, for that reason.
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At the State Department, deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said the militancy which controls a swath of land across northern Syria and Iraq has collected millions of dollars in ransoms so far this year alone.
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At least three Americans are still being held in Syria. Two of them are believed to have been kidnapped by the Islamic State. The third, freelance journalist Austin Tice, disappeared in Syria in August 2012 and is believed to be in the custody of government forces in Syria. The demand to the families of each hostage came only once, late last year.
evolution in its goal toward brutal total war against the West, said Fernando Carvajal, an expert on al Qaida in the Middle East and north Africa at Britain University of Exeter. doesn need to kidnap for ransom. reported from San Francisco.
don need to do this for money, said Matthew Levitt, a counter terror expert at the Washington Institute think tank. you ask for $132 million, for the release of one person, that suggests that you either trying to make a point or you don really need the Nike Zoom Kd 9 Red money. for Foley release, including changes in American policy and posture in the Mideast.
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